The original cast's contracts run out at the end of the season, as does Sara Ramirez's, and since we already know Sandra won't be renewing her contract, we have to wonder if any of the other original cast members will be following in her footsteps. The contracts originally came to a close at the end of Season 8, and even then there were rumors that some of the big stars wanted out, and/or were demanding too much money to stay. Obviously, everything worked out back then, but that doesn't bode particularly well for contract renewals in the future.
We do know that co-showrunners and executive producers Tony Phelan and Joan Rater are departing the show after this season, heading to CBS for a development deal. Though creator Shonda Rhimes will still be running the writers' room, losing two people who have been there for eight seasons leaves a huge gap.
While 10 seasons is far more than most TV shows get, a medical drama lasting longer than that is not unprecedented. Most notably, the legendary ER lasted a whopping 15 seasons, surviving many cast changes. Grey's continues to get relatively strong ratings this season, so we don't see why it can't keep going, with or without the original cast members.
However, there is something to be said for ending the show on a high note, and knowing ahead of time that a certain season is the last often allows writers to create something great (look no further than Breaking Bad's incredible final season this summer for proof). Maybe Shonda — who has plenty of other projects on her plate, including smash hit Scandal — should decide ahead of time that Season 10 will be the show's last hurrah. That would allow her to wrap the beloved show up with the thought and grace it deserves.
What do you think: Should Grey's end after Season 10, or are you hoping it lasts for many more years?